Causes of Cancer

There are many things that are linked to cancer, but the actual cause is not known. The best advice is to limit your exposure to known cancer risk factors. By changing your lifestyle and diet habits that may be unhealthy, you are eliminating a large part of the risk for developing cancer. You have a lot of control over preventing this disease. It is only when you relinquish that control to the cancer that you lose out.

The risk factor categories cover a range of lifestyle and dietary habits. Some risk factors cannot be controlled, but the good news is that a person does have control over the majority of risk factors.

The two main risk factors, which a person has no control over, are genetic factors and age.

Some cancers found to be inherited. While this includes only a small amount of cancers, it has been found to be helpful when determining the risk a person has for developing certain types of cancer. The only way to find out if you carry a cancer gene is to be tested. Having multiple family members who have cancer is not a good indicator of a genetic link for cancer, but may give you a good reason to be tested. Remember, only a small number of cancers are caused by heredity. Usually, a person should look into getting tested if the following are true:

  • Two or more family members have cancer. They must be family members from the same side of the family, blood related and have the same type of cancer.
  • The cancer occurred before the age of 60.
  • One blood related relative has had two different types of cancer. This does not include cancer that has spread to a different part of the body. It means two separate types of cancer.

If these situations are present in your family then you may wish to get screened for a genetic cancer link. Most testing involves a doctor looking over a person’s family history and deducting, based upon this information, the risk. Actual genetic testing is only available for breast, bowel and ovarian cancers.



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